Many of our clients use the online graphic design program called “Canva” to create planners, journals, and other products. Once your designs are ready for printing, it’s important to note that margins, bleed and crop marks must be applied for us to print.
If you are using Canva for your next project, here is how to apply bleed and crop marks.
Bleed helps to avoid having unsightly white gaps when you want your design to print to the edge of the paper. It is for a design intended to have color elements all the way to the edge of the page.
- Click on “File”
- Select “Show print bleed.” A border of broken lines will appear close to the edges of your design. This margin is fixed and cannot be adjusted.
- If you see white gaps around the design edges, adjust your background and design elements to cover the white spaces.
Crop marks show the printer where to trim (or cut) the paper or card for your product. The size for crop marks is fixed and cannot be adjusted. The time to add crop marks is when you’re ready to download your design and send it for printing.
- After you add bleed to your design, click the Download button on the toolbar.
- On the File Type dropdown menu, select PDF Print.
- Click the box next to “Crop marks and bleed.”
- Click Download.
For more details and information about preparing your files for print, be sure to refer to this article “How to Prepare Your Files for Printing” on our blog.
Why are bleed and crop marks important?
Missing bleed and crop marks seem to be the most popular reason for rejected print files. If your PDF has edge-to-edge printing, then you need bleed. This means the image should be slightly larger than the finished page size so that when we trim to the crop marks, we will cut through the image so that the printing actually prints edge to edge. Without bleed, your page/cover/document will have a white border all of the way around and the color will not print to the edge of the sheet. Print file preparation is extremely important, so even if you're not ready to start printing just yet, be sure to save these instructions to help you down the road.